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[PS3 Review] Dungeon Defenders

Hold on to your hats folks, here we go again with another review of a great PSN title. Let me start off by saying that this was a real treat to play. Much like my last review, it seems like lately I’ve had the privilege to review some top notch PSN titles, and this one is no exception. Dungeon Defenders is an interesting mix of tower defense and RPG elements, and it mixes them well. Dungeon Defenders does a great job of balancing these two genres.

The story focuses around 4 young kids learning their craft, as wizards, warriors, knights and rangers. One day their parents leave them alone in their castle, and as you know, kids will be kids. Chaos ensues and the children unleash a great evil into the world. They are now forced to clean up the mess before their parents return and are undoubtably grounded. Huh? Kinda sounds like when I was a child.

Here’s a quick overview of the gameplay.

So the game starts out with a very handy and well scripted tutorial to familiarize new players with the game. It explains the gameplay, character abilities, controls, as well as all the other functions in the game, and there are a lot. Each class has their own variation of towers related to their skill set. For instance the rangers ‘towers’ are traps that have a variety of functions. Some are slowing traps, while others are explosive damaging traps. These traps and towers form up the bulk of your defense, the rest is you running around and vanquishing evil with your character using a variety of weapons and skills.

When I say variety, thats pretty much a huge understatement, there is an insane amount of weapons and armor in this game, so much variation and possibilities. When you find weapons and armor that you like you can further improve it by leveling up items using the mana you collect from chests and killing enemies.

Battle gets pretty hectic as you progress, requiring you to think on the fly and act fast. I found myself monitoring traps, collecting loot and rebuilding traps that ran out of charges all while still trying not to be trampled to death by hoards of bad guys. The objective other than to not die, is to protect a giant crystal from being destroyed, which is very challenging at best. When I first started playing it was not uncommon for me to attempt to pass a level 5 times, sometimes it takes a few tries to figure out a good strategy for each level.

As much fun as this game is playing by yourself its more intense when playing with a few friends or on on-line co-op. Really, in the end this game is more geared for co-op play, and even though you may be playing with three other players, the game is still very challenging, the hoards are larger, tougher and extra badass! But the loot is more rewarding and much more abundant.

The graphics in this game are very artsy, very crisp and vibrant, they remind me of a game called Torchlight, it to had a very crisp artsy look to it. All of the animations on the monsters, NPCs, and characters is very smooth. I really enjoyed the attention to detail that was put into this game, the levels are well designed and vibrant and alive when they need to be, and dark and gloomy when you are probing the depths of the castle, everything flows together very well.

When the challenges of defending your castle and trying to hide the mess from the parents you can retire to your tavern explore further upgrade possibilities. Look through the item store to purchase even more items and abilities. I said it before but I need to say it again….there is a crazy amount of items and even more customization, so much you could drown in it all, and for just $10 there is a ton of value here.

In closing the blending of tower defense and RPG elements, something that was new for me, made for a phenomenal experience. This game took 2 of my favorite genres and melded them together in a perfect mix of gameplay bliss. There is so much content here and with the online gameplay and multiple classes, adds a vast amount of replayability which I find in most PSN titles is hard to come by. But here, there is plenty, and is even further reinforced with the insane amount of customization opening up even more replayability options. This game is a must buy, I could find nothing wrong with this game, as far as glitches or poor gameplay mechanics. This is a well polished game, it’s apparent to me that the team really cared about this game and wanted to give the people nothing but the best, which sometimes, values like that are hard to come by.

[review pros=”Crisp and rich environments
Insane amount of content
High value
Lots of replayability
Perfect price point” cons=”Difficulty ramps up pretty fast
At times the amount of content can be overwhealming
Communication in Co-op can be difficult” score=98]

This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Dungeon Defenders provided by Trendy Entertainment.